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It is the summer of 1955. Alexander, Tom and his sister Lennie, discover the body of their childhood friend Danny Masters in the river that runs through Starome, a village on the Richmond estate in North Yorkshire. His death is a mystery. Did he jump, or was it just an accident? Lady Venetia Richmond has no time to dwell on the death. Newly widowed, she is busy trying to ke It is the summer of 1955. Alexander, Tom and his sister Lennie, discover the body of their childhood friend Danny Masters in the river that runs through Starome, a village on the Richmond estate in North Yorkshire. His death is a mystery. Did he jump, or was it just an accident? Lady Venetia Richmond has no time to dwell on the death. Newly widowed, she is busy trying to keep the estate together, while struggling with death duties and crippling taxation. Alexander, her son and sole heir to Richmond Hall, is of little help. Just when she most needs him, he grows elusive, his behavior becoming increasingly erratic. Lennie Fairweather, ‘child of nature’ and daughter of the late Sir Angus’s private secretary, has other things on her mind too. In love with Alexander, she longs to escape life with her over-protective father and domineering brother. Alexander is unpredictable though, hard to pin down. Can she be sure of his true feelings towards her? In the weeks that follow the tragic drowning, the river begins to give up its secrets. As the truth about Danny’s death emerges, other stories come to the surface that threaten to destroy everyone’s plans for future and, ultimately, their very way of life. The River Within will surely take its place as a classic in a tradition of English fiction that takes in Thomas Hardy, Graham Swift and Helen Dunmore.


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It is the summer of 1955. Alexander, Tom and his sister Lennie, discover the body of their childhood friend Danny Masters in the river that runs through Starome, a village on the Richmond estate in North Yorkshire. His death is a mystery. Did he jump, or was it just an accident? Lady Venetia Richmond has no time to dwell on the death. Newly widowed, she is busy trying to ke It is the summer of 1955. Alexander, Tom and his sister Lennie, discover the body of their childhood friend Danny Masters in the river that runs through Starome, a village on the Richmond estate in North Yorkshire. His death is a mystery. Did he jump, or was it just an accident? Lady Venetia Richmond has no time to dwell on the death. Newly widowed, she is busy trying to keep the estate together, while struggling with death duties and crippling taxation. Alexander, her son and sole heir to Richmond Hall, is of little help. Just when she most needs him, he grows elusive, his behavior becoming increasingly erratic. Lennie Fairweather, ‘child of nature’ and daughter of the late Sir Angus’s private secretary, has other things on her mind too. In love with Alexander, she longs to escape life with her over-protective father and domineering brother. Alexander is unpredictable though, hard to pin down. Can she be sure of his true feelings towards her? In the weeks that follow the tragic drowning, the river begins to give up its secrets. As the truth about Danny’s death emerges, other stories come to the surface that threaten to destroy everyone’s plans for future and, ultimately, their very way of life. The River Within will surely take its place as a classic in a tradition of English fiction that takes in Thomas Hardy, Graham Swift and Helen Dunmore.

30 review for The River Within

  1. 4 out of 5

    SueLucie

    We have here a moving story of the interwoven lives of a small cast of characters in a Yorkshire village, alternating between the decades before and after WWII. The drama hinges on grief, regret, unrequited love and infatuation centred on the two main female characters. Misunderstandings and oblique communication are to blame for much of the tragedy that ensues. We know from the outset that Danny has drowned and, as the book progresses, we come to understand how this happened and how it affects We have here a moving story of the interwoven lives of a small cast of characters in a Yorkshire village, alternating between the decades before and after WWII. The drama hinges on grief, regret, unrequited love and infatuation centred on the two main female characters. Misunderstandings and oblique communication are to blame for much of the tragedy that ensues. We know from the outset that Danny has drowned and, as the book progresses, we come to understand how this happened and how it affects the people he knew. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking here but some lovely writing and strong characters, particularly the women, kept me wanting to know more. With thanks to Europa Editions via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    In the summer of 1955, Alexander, Tom and his sister Lennie find the body in the river of their school friend Danny Masters. You were friends? Alexander glanced up at her . Not since school. Hardly then really? This story keeps you guessing did Danny jump or was it an accident how he died in the river? Or was someone else involved? Lennie, Danny, Venetia, each have their own chapters, will anything be revealed?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    Beautiful, poetic, written in a sublime prose. I absolutely adore this book - full of love & grief & lives misunderstood. One of my books of the year. Perfect.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Very little happens in this book, and most of it is bad. It begins with death. It ends with death. There are sudden deaths and long, drawn-out deaths. But "The River Within" is not gothic, but rather feels like goth porn, something a death-obsessed teen would fetishize. The point of the book seems to be that while death is part of nature, succumbing to its seductions is a terrible idea, one must find a way to live in harmony with it. And the writing is pretty . . . lots of descriptions of garden Very little happens in this book, and most of it is bad. It begins with death. It ends with death. There are sudden deaths and long, drawn-out deaths. But "The River Within" is not gothic, but rather feels like goth porn, something a death-obsessed teen would fetishize. The point of the book seems to be that while death is part of nature, succumbing to its seductions is a terrible idea, one must find a way to live in harmony with it. And the writing is pretty . . . lots of descriptions of gardens. (And between the pruning and the fertilizer, gardens feed on death, now, don't they?) A fine gift for your most neurasthenic friend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tilly Fitzgerald

    This book wasn’t on my radar until I saw a couple of very wise bookworms recommend it, and thank goodness they did - to miss out on this beautiful book would be a travesty! Powell has written a story so delicate, so heartbreaking and full of tragedy that I just couldn’t put it down for a second - I was completely and utterly absorbed by these characters. I was grateful to know immediately that Danny Masters had died, purely because I don’t think my heart could’ve taken the shock of it by the end This book wasn’t on my radar until I saw a couple of very wise bookworms recommend it, and thank goodness they did - to miss out on this beautiful book would be a travesty! Powell has written a story so delicate, so heartbreaking and full of tragedy that I just couldn’t put it down for a second - I was completely and utterly absorbed by these characters. I was grateful to know immediately that Danny Masters had died, purely because I don’t think my heart could’ve taken the shock of it by the end of this book - as the only truly kind and innocent character in the story his was the tragedy which caused me the most sorrow. However, no story could truly grab me this way without the characters that have a certain darkness to them! Lady Venetia seems so cold and unfeeling, yet as we realise how many people she has lost in her life, and that she suffered from what must’ve been PND, it becomes clear why she feels such a need to hold everything together. Equally, whilst her son, Alexander, seems selfish and cruel, it soon becomes obvious that he is battling his own demons around the death of his father, and the part he believes he may have played in Danny’s death. Then we have poor Lennie, whose inner turmoil and mental health struggles Powell has managed to capture perfectly, and who perhaps holds the key to most of the tragedies throughout the novel. I know that all of these characters will stay with me for a long time. I can’t recommend this book enough - whilst there’s no getting around the sorrow and tragedy, it’s absolutely worth it for such an intricately woven and captivating story that leaves you bereft upon finishing that final page. After finishing this, I will gladly read whatever Powell writes with no questions asked!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Arina ☀️

    Probably more of a 3.5 but I’ve rounded it up because why the heck not?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura Grace

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is such a gorgeously written book, I could pluck out pretty much any sentence as an example of how to make language evoke atmosphere and character with precision and delight. I was completely swept up in it for the first half, loved Danny (wish there was more of him) and the pitch-perfect recreation of a fading world of English country gentry and lush countryside was a fun place to get lost in on some chilly autumn nights. Every detail felt so well researched, and incredibly confident, laye This is such a gorgeously written book, I could pluck out pretty much any sentence as an example of how to make language evoke atmosphere and character with precision and delight. I was completely swept up in it for the first half, loved Danny (wish there was more of him) and the pitch-perfect recreation of a fading world of English country gentry and lush countryside was a fun place to get lost in on some chilly autumn nights. Every detail felt so well researched, and incredibly confident, layers being built up to create an experience that felt very real. I was however a little disappointed in the storytelling ultimately; the promise of the opening was let down by some quite predictable revelations - the inevitable secret pregnancy, the love triangle, the hushed-up suicide. And I lost track of where the characters ended up (what happened to Lennie’s baby?), I wanted to dig a bit deeper into their perspectives, especially Lennie and Alexander, but they seemed to fade away in Lennie’s case, or remain frustratingly distant in Alexander’s. I actually feel like this book could have been longer, it all seemed to wrap up too quickly, with too many deaths on top of each other. Still, a beautifully written novel, and I’ll definitely read whatever Powell writes next.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charlsa

    The River Within seems like a classic story of love, loss, class distinction and tragedy. What makes the story unique is Powell’s poetic language and the sense of place that permeates the story. Even though the story opens with a death (not a spoiler), this is a delicate telling of human emotion. It is told by the alternating narration of the four main characters and multiple timelines which can be a challenge to keep straight, but it helps to maintain the tension of the story. I enjoyed this st The River Within seems like a classic story of love, loss, class distinction and tragedy. What makes the story unique is Powell’s poetic language and the sense of place that permeates the story. Even though the story opens with a death (not a spoiler), this is a delicate telling of human emotion. It is told by the alternating narration of the four main characters and multiple timelines which can be a challenge to keep straight, but it helps to maintain the tension of the story. I enjoyed this story and will look for more from this author. Thank you to Net Galley and Europa US, and Dreamscape Media for the Advanced Listener’s Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Helen Carolan

    Goodness what a read. Set in Yorkshire in 1950's. Alexander the heir to Richmond hall is friends with Thomas and his sister Lennie the children of a member of staff. During a hot august the three pull their friend Danny from the local river. All are horrified by his mysterious death and it affects the love affair that exists between Alex and Lennie. Meanwhile Alex's mother Venetia is struggling with her husbands recent death and the secrets that surrounded it. As summer passes to autumn secrets Goodness what a read. Set in Yorkshire in 1950's. Alexander the heir to Richmond hall is friends with Thomas and his sister Lennie the children of a member of staff. During a hot august the three pull their friend Danny from the local river. All are horrified by his mysterious death and it affects the love affair that exists between Alex and Lennie. Meanwhile Alex's mother Venetia is struggling with her husbands recent death and the secrets that surrounded it. As summer passes to autumn secrets and lies lead to tragedy. Beautifully written and displaying a real love for the wildness of Yorkshire and it's land this was a fab read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Karen Powell’s The River Within opens to a theater of grief, filled with “tired amalgams of flesh that might or might not be revived.” “This was the beginning of the inevitable, the dwindling down of the white smocked broods in the old portraits in the hallway...Was that all a family amounted to: a jumble of furniture heaped up on the great lawn like abandoned props on a stage, the curtainless windows of her sitting room an empty backdrop?” In the words of Alexander, “We are a dying breed.” The Karen Powell’s The River Within opens to a theater of grief, filled with “tired amalgams of flesh that might or might not be revived.” “This was the beginning of the inevitable, the dwindling down of the white smocked broods in the old portraits in the hallway...Was that all a family amounted to: a jumble of furniture heaped up on the great lawn like abandoned props on a stage, the curtainless windows of her sitting room an empty backdrop?” In the words of Alexander, “We are a dying breed.” The two rival lovers Danny and Alexander embody “The universe...made up of two types of people...those who wanted to smash things to pieces and those who wanted to keep the world just as it was. Implacable, opposed forces like the rocky banks at the stride, the twisting iron dark water trying to find a path between.” Danny determines “that he must find a way to rescue Lennie Fairweather from the life which others had mapped out for her.” “Everyone said she was a good girl but the truth lay elsewhere in a clearing in the woods.” “Trees were something true...a rough mosaic of bark...breathing its breath, sharp and woody, quietened.” Lennie’s coming of age in 1950s England is juxtaposed with her future mother in law Venetia’s in the 1930s, two richly imagined plots in fecund soil. But “In a garden youth and beauty counted for little. Strong roots were required to make it through...winter. Even the most gorgeous and abundant plant might be slayed by a harsh frost.” “Life was frangeable now. Moving too quickly or thoughtlessly might destroy everything.” Both Lennie and Venetia are torn in their affections. “Was that love or merely anxiety turned up to an unbearable volume?” As the story progresses, the plot--and its characters--simultaneously interweave and unravel. “Progress had no shape in Lennie’s mind, but she liked the sound of it. The way it stretched itself into the future...Hardly wisdom, really. It was more that her ear had become attuned to some communal human instinct to persist.” One woman smothers her past; the other severs her future, bringing the story back to the beginning at a burial. “How that word sounded like itself. Buried. All heaped up darkness.” While individual lives end, “The river would flow on though, long after the earth had closed in around the bones of the past, and the land would become what it had always been: a palimpsest waiting for a new story to be told, which was always the old story of love and loss and joy and grief.”

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy Louise

    As someone who primarily reads novels for character and motivation, it is very rare for me to get drawn into a book where the main lure is the quality of the prose. It happens on occasion – Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is one example, Ray Robinson’s The Mating Habits of Stags another. This isn’t to say that I don’t like or appreciate well-written or lyrical fiction. Just that there usually there has to be a compelling plot, motivation or character to go alongside it. And it also isn’t to say that Th As someone who primarily reads novels for character and motivation, it is very rare for me to get drawn into a book where the main lure is the quality of the prose. It happens on occasion – Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is one example, Ray Robinson’s The Mating Habits of Stags another. This isn’t to say that I don’t like or appreciate well-written or lyrical fiction. Just that there usually there has to be a compelling plot, motivation or character to go alongside it. And it also isn’t to say that The River Within doesn’t have an interesting plot, motivation or characters. Just that, for me, it was – unusually – the gorgeous prose that pulled me into the book and dragged me under, much like the rushing waters of the Stride does to the unfortunate Danny Masters. Take this, for example, from the opening paragraph: “Danny Masters came home one afternoon at the beginning of August. Something stirred beneath the surface of the water, at a point where the river at last quietened and opened out into a wide pool, bottle-green beneath the canopy of trees. His movement was slow at first, so that a passer-by might look twice, thinking it the shadow of a bird or a swaying branch above. A billowing next, deep, growing, blurred at the edges, and then up he bobbed as jauntily as a buoy, his one remaining eye widened at the shock of release.” Similar passages can be found throughout the novel – sentences and paragraphs that you just want to dive into thanks to all their lushly evocative detail. One of the pull quotes for the novel – by the author Preti Taneja – said that the prose “was as alive as Millais’ painting of Ophelia, singing as the river and reeds claim her” and, for once, I don’t feel that’s an exaggeration. There really is something of a painting in this book – fine precise brushstrokes that come together to make a compelling portrait of a family and a community on the precipice of change. The Ophelia comparison is well-founded because The River Within loosely takes Hamlet as its source material. If you know the play, you’ll quickly realise the roles into which Venetia Richmond, her son Alexander, and the dreamy Lennie Fairweather have been cast. Follow on from that, and it won’t take much to work out that The River Within is, at its heart, a five-act tragedy. What makes The River Within so evocative, however, is the way in which Karen Powell has put meat onto the structural bones of Shakespeare’s original. Whilst characters and events can be loosely mapped onto Hamlet, the novel explores the added complications of class and societal hierarchies with its careful examination of a country house estate struggling to weather the changed world that has emerged after the Second World War. There are also tender and compassionate examinations of mental health, grief, love, longing, and desire, as Powell turns her piercing gaze upon the inhabitants of Starome to expose the inner workings of their souls. To say any more about The River Within would, I feel, be superfluous – and would also risk spoiling the reading of this beautifully evocative book. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a moving and meditative read to see in 2021, The River Within should definitely be on your radar. NB: This review first appeared on my blog at https://theshelfofunreadbooks.wordpre.... My thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy of the book in return for an honest and unbiased review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    MaryBeth

    I received a free digital advance listening copy from Dreamscape Media/Europa US via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The River Within by Karen Powell combines a propulsive plot with evocative language. From the first paragraph, in which one of the main characters, "Danny Masters came home one afternoon. . ." you quickly learn that this is not a typical homecoming - rather, Danny's body shows up in the river flowing through the Yorkshire estate where he grew up. How he came to drown i I received a free digital advance listening copy from Dreamscape Media/Europa US via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. The River Within by Karen Powell combines a propulsive plot with evocative language. From the first paragraph, in which one of the main characters, "Danny Masters came home one afternoon. . ." you quickly learn that this is not a typical homecoming - rather, Danny's body shows up in the river flowing through the Yorkshire estate where he grew up. How he came to drown in the river is just one, but not the sole, question driving the story forward. The story is at times almost melancholic, but in a way that kept me turning the pages to find out how the various storylines involving unrequited love and loss come together. The chapters alternate between the perspectives of Venetia, recently widowed and wife of the estate owner; Lennie, daughter of one of the estate workers who is in love with Venetia's son; and Danny himself. Powell uses this structure very effectively, often leaving the reader with a cliffhanger at the end of each character's chapter that is then not picked up again until several chapters later. Powell conveys a strong sense of place with vivid descriptions of the river, the forest, and the surrounding countryside. I could see and feel the "crocodile-hide bark" of the oak tree against which Lennie presses her cheek in the opening chapter, and later a "procession emerging from the wood and moving flat against the tree line like a panel from a stained glass window." I would have liked some additional development of a couple of the characters to better understand their motivations and actions. Most of the book is set in the 1950s, with some flashbacks to the 1930s and late 1940s. The toll that World War II took on the land and the villagers is still very evident, but it was refreshing to read a book set in this time period rather than during the war. The audio narration of this book did not work for me, unfortunately. Even though I was very interested in the plot, I found it hard for the narration to keep my attention. I usually enjoy books that alternate between different characters' perspectives and between different time periods, but for this book, I found those elements especially hard to follow on audio. I tried speeding up, slowing down, and starting over at one point before I gave up. Luckily, I was able to borrow the book from my library, and I greatly enjoyed the book in that format.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Wood

    Living in North Yorkshire I was keen to read this “”local” book, but apart from the mention of a few Northern towns, it could have been set anywhere. The beginning was promising - the discovery of the dead, bloated body of Danny Masters, by three young people walking along the river bank on a country estate in Richmond. It is 1955. Danny was a childhood friend of them all and the story traced back from there, covering their relationships and past through alternating chapters from the viewpoint o Living in North Yorkshire I was keen to read this “”local” book, but apart from the mention of a few Northern towns, it could have been set anywhere. The beginning was promising - the discovery of the dead, bloated body of Danny Masters, by three young people walking along the river bank on a country estate in Richmond. It is 1955. Danny was a childhood friend of them all and the story traced back from there, covering their relationships and past through alternating chapters from the viewpoint of Danny, Venetia, the recently widowed wife of the owner of Richmond Hall and Lennie, the daughter of the steward at the Hall. As the store progresses we learn that Danny was in love with Lennie, but Lennie is in love with Venetia’s son Alexander. I found the alternating chapters, many of which jumped back and forth over the space of only a few months, confusing at times, made worse by the often irritating oblique writing style. I also felt the first few chapters were an amalgam of creative writing techniques which jarred and added little to my understanding, Unfortunately I ended the novel still unaware of exactly what had happened. Beyond the first chapters I did start to enjoy the book, and felt it settled into telling a story. However, not one of the characters escapes misery and grief and with themes of death, suicide, unrequited love, unfaithfulness, unwanted pregnancy, mental health and post-natal depression, it is a pretty melancholic read. With thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendi

    I'd heard about this one from some English bookish people I follow in the media much earlier this year and the premise intrigued me so that I was excited to request an ARC from the publisher, Europa. They granted this request and I jumped in...and then floundered. Thinking back on it, I don't think that I recall any of those bookish people in England reporting back having actually read this one, and I suspect it's because they didn't want to provide a negative review or were just left unmotivated I'd heard about this one from some English bookish people I follow in the media much earlier this year and the premise intrigued me so that I was excited to request an ARC from the publisher, Europa. They granted this request and I jumped in...and then floundered. Thinking back on it, I don't think that I recall any of those bookish people in England reporting back having actually read this one, and I suspect it's because they didn't want to provide a negative review or were just left unmotivated, which was my ultimate reason for failing to finish this one. The good, here, is that I appreciated the actual writing (as in the words, the sentences, the language), and that's the primary reason I stuck with it for as long as I did. I unfortunately found the rest of the elements - the structure, the characterizations, the movement of the plot - all frustrating or simply not working for me. In a year when I am very intentionally DNFing even books I've bought if they fail to snare me (or even just retain my bare curiosity), unfortunately the confusing timelines and the wholly unsympathetic characters just couldn't win.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Faith Hurst-Bilinski

    With a basic theme of death and a beginning as depressing as three people finding the body of someone they have known their whole lives is a tricky line to walk. The writing style was overtly aware of itself trying to emulate the writing of a different era. I ended up feeling like the author and narrator were reading in a language they could phonetically decipher but whose meaning was lost to them. It was disjointed. On top of that you had a story that went back and forth in time, but not a sign With a basic theme of death and a beginning as depressing as three people finding the body of someone they have known their whole lives is a tricky line to walk. The writing style was overtly aware of itself trying to emulate the writing of a different era. I ended up feeling like the author and narrator were reading in a language they could phonetically decipher but whose meaning was lost to them. It was disjointed. On top of that you had a story that went back and forth in time, but not a significant amount of time to make the different times really separate. Sometimes we just went back and forth weeks. Throw in characters that are shallowly written and hard to like and you have something that a decent plot couldn't really save.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danielle McClellan

    I seem to be on a gothic-tragedy-in-the-English-countryside kick quite by accident. (view spoiler)[This apparently dovetails with a similarly parallel teenage-heroine's-trauma-based-old-fashioned-type-of-madness-probably-inherited-from-one's-mad-mother/grandmother kick. (hide spoiler)] Books of this sort are quite tasty while I am galloping through them, but leave something of a bitter aftertaste. They also share completely over-the-top endings that run the entire enterprise into hyper-loaded f I seem to be on a gothic-tragedy-in-the-English-countryside kick quite by accident. (view spoiler)[This apparently dovetails with a similarly parallel teenage-heroine's-trauma-based-old-fashioned-type-of-madness-probably-inherited-from-one's-mad-mother/grandmother kick. (hide spoiler)] Books of this sort are quite tasty while I am galloping through them, but leave something of a bitter aftertaste. They also share completely over-the-top endings that run the entire enterprise into hyper-loaded final pages marked by tragedy, ruin and secrets unfurled like bloody flags. I am, frankly, exhausted. However, all of that said, I enjoyed reading both of these books quite a bit. Giving this one 3.5 and noting that the writing is very good.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    This is a beautifully written, multi-generational story of love, loss and class distinctions set in Yorkshire, England in 1940’s and 1950’s. What elevates this novel is the poetic language and wonderful descriptions of emotions and landscape that Powell employs. This story does alternate narrators and dates quite frequently, so that may be off putting to some, but I found it enhanced the story as an illustration of the continuity of issues, regardless of social standing. The story is seemingly f This is a beautifully written, multi-generational story of love, loss and class distinctions set in Yorkshire, England in 1940’s and 1950’s. What elevates this novel is the poetic language and wonderful descriptions of emotions and landscape that Powell employs. This story does alternate narrators and dates quite frequently, so that may be off putting to some, but I found it enhanced the story as an illustration of the continuity of issues, regardless of social standing. The story is seemingly focused on the death of a young villager, but that is simply the centrepoint of a broader story of human emotion. Truly a fine work of literary fiction!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    This was a struggle to finish. The enticement of the story taking place in the Yorkshire area drew me to this, there was precious little about the area. My brain just could grasp the style and eventually the convergence of lives explained, but I was still disappointed overall. What made me sit up and take notice was the facts about the Italians and others being rounded up by the government fearful of spies. The ship carrying hundreds headed for Canada then torpedoed by U boats was a new point I' This was a struggle to finish. The enticement of the story taking place in the Yorkshire area drew me to this, there was precious little about the area. My brain just could grasp the style and eventually the convergence of lives explained, but I was still disappointed overall. What made me sit up and take notice was the facts about the Italians and others being rounded up by the government fearful of spies. The ship carrying hundreds headed for Canada then torpedoed by U boats was a new point I'd not considered from years of reading. I thank the author or opening the door on this grievous history. Another subject to pursue.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Although this book isn't a traditional mystery, it does begin with a dead body. The characters were complex and interesting, although some weren't very likeable. Requiring the characters in a book to be "likeable" isn't a concern for me. What struck me about halfway through the book is the Hamlet-like characters and plot twist. It made the book much better, that the author was able to weave these illusions through the book and make it much deeper and more interesting. I would compare it to The S Although this book isn't a traditional mystery, it does begin with a dead body. The characters were complex and interesting, although some weren't very likeable. Requiring the characters in a book to be "likeable" isn't a concern for me. What struck me about halfway through the book is the Hamlet-like characters and plot twist. It made the book much better, that the author was able to weave these illusions through the book and make it much deeper and more interesting. I would compare it to The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, another book with definite Hamlet references.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I usually love historical fiction mystery books, but I could not get into this book. I wanted to like it. I tried, but I couldn't connect with the characters. I thought it was too disjointed and was moving too slow to push through to find out how everything is connected. I did not finish this book. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free audiobook ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I usually love historical fiction mystery books, but I could not get into this book. I wanted to like it. I tried, but I couldn't connect with the characters. I thought it was too disjointed and was moving too slow to push through to find out how everything is connected. I did not finish this book. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a free audiobook ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    This historical fiction wove seamlessly between the decades before and after World War II. Three friends come across the body of someone that was a childhood friend. The author did a great job of weaving all of the characters together and did justice to each of their individual journeys. This was a pretty good read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Lipkin

    I have always tried to find the good in books. I plodded through the audio version. I did not find any of the characters likable. I found the format choppy. When I put it on my list, I had hopes but was very disappointed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Ross

    May be a great book. The audiobook just does not hold one's attention, most likely the failure of this listener or a boring set of narrators. Only earns a 3 rating on Audible so I am not the only listener with a lower opinion. Did not finish. Too many other great books to here. May be a great book. The audiobook just does not hold one's attention, most likely the failure of this listener or a boring set of narrators. Only earns a 3 rating on Audible so I am not the only listener with a lower opinion. Did not finish. Too many other great books to here.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    is this a hamlet retelling? reads like it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Atmospheric, interesting characters, good story

  26. 5 out of 5

    OjoAusana

    *received for free from netgalley for honest review* Not bad but it was kinda hard for me to follow at times or i found myself zoning out when listening to it but i mean i would reread it

  27. 4 out of 5

    Felicity Bentham

    Some beautiful prose.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This would make a good movie.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Kochick

    Good writhing but grim story - suicides, homicide, fratricide.

  30. 4 out of 5

    ErMaMoTo3

    From my point of view, it is a captivating book with a good plot.

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